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Woodworm ruined our wedding day
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TOPIC: Woodworm ruined our wedding day
Woodworm ruined our wedding day 2 Years, 2 Months ago  
Kelsey Hallam and Tom Power had only one venue in mind for their wedding.

The 800-year-old Church of St Mary the Virgin stands in the village where they had their first date, and they often return to walk their dog there.

But their special day turned into a disaster after a woodworm infestation forced guests to leave 15 minutes before the service was due to start.

Tom Power and Kelsey Hallam, pictured, were distraught when they had to change their wedding venue 15 minutes before the service was due to start
Images: bridal dresses

As the bride arrived to find the wedding party huddled outside, the groom was told contractors had just finished treating the damaged pews with potentially toxic chemicals.

The vicar said the medieval church in Great Brington, Northamptonshire, was not safe to use for the ceremony – and an alternative would have to be found.

The couple were eventually married 90 minutes later at St Andrew’s Church in Harlestone.

But the delay sent the rest of the day into chaos.

Credit controller Mrs Power, 25, said yesterday: ‘I couldn’t understand why all the guests were outside … Tom’s best man Craig came out and told me to go around the block.

'I thought maybe the organist was late, so we drove off. Then when we returned he told us to go around again.

‘That’s when I started to get worried … The whole thing was so upsetting. We wanted to get married at that church because it meant something to us.’

Mr Power, 29, said he paid £100 for bell ringers, who started up after his guests had been ejected from the church, and the wedding breakfast was ruined because chefs had to keep it warm for 90 minutes.

The couple had booked St Mary’s with the Rev Sue Kipling. The vicar told them a church volunteer had mistakenly let in the contractors a few hours before their service was due to begin on September 2.

Mr Power, an IT analyst, added: ‘I couldn’t believe what was happening. We’d booked that church 18 months in advance.

'Not only did we miss out on wedding pictures in the church grounds … it made what should have been a purely joyous day into a stressful one.’

The couple, of Northampton, are seeking compensation from St Mary’s.

But at a meeting with Miss Kipling, Northampton archdeacon Richard Ormston, and a loss adjuster for the church’s insurer, Mr Power was told they may have to take the Church of England to the small claims court.

Miss Kipling said ‘absorption and drying of the liquid treatment took much longer than the contractors had envisaged’.

She added: ‘I am so sorry that in this case the bridal couple felt the day was so spoilt for them.’

The vicar said the church had been booked for a year and the service at the other church started an hour late.

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